Decrease in number of anti-Semitic incidents in Ukraine

Jewish organization in Ukraine says number of anti-Semitic incidents recorded in 2019 decreased by 27 percent over 2018.

Elad Benari ,

Kiev
Kiev
iStock

A Jewish organization in Ukraine said that the number of anti-Semitic incidents documented there last year decreased by 27 percent over 2018, JTA reports.

The United Jewish Community of Ukraine, one of several groups representing Ukrainian Jewry, said in a report published this past Monday that it has documented 66 anti-Semitic incidents in 2019 compared to 90 in the previous year.

It attributed the purported change to the election in May of Volodymyr Zelensky, a Jewish actor, as president.

The Jewish group that published the report is headed by Igor Kolomoisky, a nationalist Jewish billionaire who owns the television channel where Zelensky worked.

Ukraine has no government watchdog that monitors racist incidents and publishes aggregated reports.

Israel’s Ministry for Diaspora Affairs in 2018 said that in 2017, Ukraine had had more than 130 anti-Semitic incidents – more than the combined tally of documented cases that year from the entire former Soviet Union.

Some groups, including the Vaad Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities, disputed that report, while others, including the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, said it seemed reliable.

The latest report details one physical assault on a person — an activist for free speech whom perpetrators beat up in December in Kiev while calling him a Jew.

Other recently documented incidents include one in November, when an unidentified group of vandals painted a swastika graffiti on the monument in Kiev honoring Sholom Aleichem, the father of Jewish literature.

In October, an effigy of a Ukrainian-Jewish billionaire covered in red paint was placed at the entrance to a synagogue in Kiev.

Before that, a graffiti image of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was found near the grave of Rabbi Nachman in the city of Uman.

In September, a Holocaust monument in Ukraine was vandalized with graffiti and a note threatening another genocide.




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